While all birds have their good and bad qualities (as seen by humans), I have mixed feelings about Common Grackles. I think their feathers can be very beautiful in the sunlight and they are quite clever. But their manners at the bird feeders don’t endear them to me. They tend to arrive in groups. If they like what they find in a feeder, they’ll hang around all day. They dominate the feeders quite aggressively, not letting other birds have a chance.
I only have grackle issues periodically, mostly on chilly spring days. But sometimes a small group of them settled in and decide to stick around. With a crowd of grackles on the feeders, the Carolina Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches and Tufted Titmouses that have been yard regulars for years disappear. Even the finches and sparrows get scarce. What to do?